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sub-Saharan Africa Topics specific to sub-Saharan Africa. (Includes all countries South of 17 degrees latitude)
Photo by Igor Djokovic, camping above San Juan river, Arizona USA

I haven't been everywhere...
but it's on my list!


Photo by Igor Djokovic,
camping above San Juan river,
Arizona USA



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  #31  
Old 1 Aug 2017
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1- Yes you can register the bike with Canadian passport

2- No problems to travel around with South African license plate

3- No, I don't think there will be any problems

4- Go to Crossing Africa - a journey from Cape to Cairo to read up about a couple that went right through from Cape Town to Cairo with their bikes
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  #32  
Old 11 Dec 2017
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Just to echo what has already been said.

We just picked up our TRNs today. It was quite painless. We used the information on this government web page:

http://www.capetown.gov.za/City-Conn...ister%20number

We are two Canadians, just arrived in Cape Town a couple of weeks ago. Last week, we went to the Motor Vehicle Registration and Licensing (Civic Center on Hertzog Blvd) and handed in:

- Filled out Traffic Register Number Application Form (download PDF from the link above)
- Passports
- Two passport-sized photos
- Proof of residence

The lady at the counter did not seem satisfied with our papers. Officially, they want to see a proper 6-month or longer visa (work or education preferred) in your passport. Instead, we had a 90-day tourist visa exemption stamp. Strike one.

Also, we handed in a printed-out copy of our AirBnB reservation. It was only for two weeks... She shook her head and said that "hotel reservations" did not count. Strike two.

However, she took all our papers and told us she would forward them to central processing and they would determine whether we would get our TRNs approved or not. She warned us that it was doubtful that it would happen, but to come back in 7 days and check. So we left a bit dejected.

Went in this morning, and to our surprise, the TRNs were approved!

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  #33  
Old 8 Jan 2018
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lightcycle View Post
Just to echo what has already been said.

We just picked up our TRNs today. It was quite painless. We used the information on this government web page:

http://www.capetown.gov.za/City-Conn...ister%20number

We are two Canadians, just arrived in Cape Town a couple of weeks ago. Last week, we went to the Motor Vehicle Registration and Licensing (Civic Center on Hertzog Blvd) and handed in:

- Filled out Traffic Register Number Application Form (download PDF from the link above)
- Passports
- Two passport-sized photos
- Proof of residence

The lady at the counter did not seem satisfied with our papers. Officially, they want to see a proper 6-month or longer visa (work or education preferred) in your passport. Instead, we had a 90-day tourist visa exemption stamp. Strike one.

Also, we handed in a printed-out copy of our AirBnB reservation. It was only for two weeks... She shook her head and said that "hotel reservations" did not count. Strike two.

However, she took all our papers and told us she would forward them to central processing and they would determine whether we would get our TRNs approved or not. She warned us that it was doubtful that it would happen, but to come back in 7 days and check. So we left a bit dejected.

Went in this morning, and to our surprise, the TRNs were approved!

Hi!!

Did they ask you about your drivers' licenses? I wonder if I need to show them my drivers license or if I need international drivers license.
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  #34  
Old 8 Jan 2018
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Originally Posted by maomao View Post
Did they ask you about your drivers' licenses? I wonder if I need to show them my drivers license or if I need international drivers license.
Actually, no. They didn't ask to see our drivers license... Just the passport was the only official document they asked for.

I suspect that the registration of the vehicle has nothing to do with whether you are legally allowed to operate it or not. That happens when you get pulled over by the police. *Then* you'll need your drivers license or IDP.
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  #35  
Old 9 Feb 2018
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Hi everyone!! Has anybody recently gotten the TRN at the Traffic Department in Randburg? I will be arriving in Johannesburg in late March and looking to get my TRN asap. Was wondering if the process of getting the TRN has changed or not.
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  #36  
Old 27 Mar 2018
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Alright I’m going to update this information myself. I have been to the traffic registration center at civic center Cape Town three times. The lady at the counter finally accepted my papers today. Here’s what she took from me

-my passport
-certified copy of my 30-day tourist visa
-lease agreement (the one provided in this post but duly modified)
-invoice of the rent (the one provided in this post but duly modified)
-application for the TRN
-2 Black n white photos

From what I understand, they were mainly checking two things, 1)type of visa, and 2)proof of address.

For visas, they would normally want to see a work or study visa. They told me that they could not give the TRN to any tourist visa holders. But I managed to argue my way out by explaining that I just want to buy a motorcycle here and ride it to Europe.

For proof of address, I strongly suggest other travelers, who want to do the similar thing, to use the lease agreement and the invoice on this post and change them accordingly. The traffic department would not accept anything like a online booking reservation. They would require something more legitimate. So I just went down to the internet cape and modified the lease agreement and invoices. After that I wrote the hostel’s owner’s name on the lease and sign it myself (I have already tried to use the utility billy hostel gave me but the traffic department required more documents so I decided to do this whole thing on my own).

And today I walked in there and handed in all the documents from above, the lady seemed very satisfied and said “this is much better”.

At last she told me to come back in 10 days. Well, now I just felt much relieved and hopefully I could pick up the TRN next week.


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  #37  
Old 5 Apr 2018
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Just to update on my TRN status. I picked it up this morning as expected. The registering and licensing was done in 10 min without any issues. FINALLY the long wait is reaching the end and I’ve already bought a bike. Bout to leave Cape Town next Wednesday and head to Namibia.

Hooray~~~~


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  #38  
Old 5 Apr 2018
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If anybody has any question regarding the whole process of registering a bike in Cape Town as a tourist, you could contact me via Facebook or Instagram.

Facebook: miles renn
Instagram: milesrenn


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Last edited by maomao; 29 Sep 2022 at 14:14.
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  #39  
Old 5 Apr 2018
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maomao View Post
Just to update on my TRN status. I picked it up this morning as expected. The registering and licensing was done in 10 min without any issues. FINALLY the long wait is reaching the end and I’ve already bought a bike. Bout to leave Cape Town next Wednesday and head to Namibia.
Congratulations!

We found that they're pretty lax about the requirements around residence, at least in Cape Town. I've heard that they're more strict in Jo'berg and Pretoria.
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  #40  
Old 5 Apr 2018
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lightcycle View Post
Congratulations!



We found that they're pretty lax about the requirements around residence, at least in Cape Town. I've heard that they're more strict in Jo'berg and Pretoria.


I don’t know about Jo’burg but here in Cape Town they definitely require some legit proof of address. Some guys I met from my hostel were also planning to do the same thing but they did not even know about the TRN. They said they will go to east London and try to register the bike there by bribing the officials. Accordingly to them people in East London would do anything for money lol.


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  #41  
Old 5 Apr 2018
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Originally Posted by maomao View Post
They said they will go to east London and try to register the bike there by bribing the officials. Accordingly to them people in East London would do anything for money lol.
Haha! My cousin lives in East London, I'll tell her you said that...

They send the TRN applications to some kind of central processing. Not sure whether that processing is national or regional. But if it's national, it actually may not matter where you submit your TRN papers. You just have to be able to push it past the clerk at the counter.
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  #42  
Old 31 May 2018
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Using a SA friend to apply for Carnet and skip the TAR

Hi guys, I see getting the TAR is still quite a time consuming process. What if I find someone, say a seller of the motorbike or a local SA resident to issue a letter authorizing myself to use his motorbike. I see that you can use the letter to apply for a Carnet in SA and travel onwards? Would this route be an easier way to travel around? Seeing that you'll have to return the bike to SA at the end anyways. A friend an I are planning to ride from Cape to Cairo in July.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Ido Weiner View Post
Hi guys

This information is based on my own experience and was gathered during August 2014. It is best intended for tourists/foreigners looking to buy a motorcycle in Johannesburg.

I went through this process in order to buy a bike for travelling around Africa.

3 Files are attached.
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  #43  
Old 31 May 2018
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We were planning on selling our bikes to a local or back to the dealer once we return to South Africa. But we'd be willing to help a traveler out if they couldn't obtain a TRN or didn't have time. We could sell the motorcycle(s) to you and then write a letter authorizing use of the bike.

Not sure how you would resell the bike though since it's not in your name...?
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  #44  
Old 13 Apr 2019
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Hi all,

I'm now in Cape Town, and I was originally planning to get a motorcycle on a buy back program but I couldn't do it because of some unforeseen circumstances.

Instead of applying for a TRN, I'm now planning to request a SA citizen to buy a vehicle on their name and then authorize me to ride it across borders. However, I don't know anyone in Cape Town.

Can anyone please help me with this? I'll make a police affidavit waiving all the liability from you.
Please help me Africa dream come true!
My trip page is at: https://m.facebook.com/smallbikesbigdreams

Best,
Rakesh
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  #45  
Old 20 Jan 2020
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Just want to update this with a caveat.

I am currently in Cape Town going through this procedure as documented.

The DMV recently (past 3-6 months) changed the process such that instead of approving this on site, it gets sent to a federal office, the office of home affairs. This is to further verify your passport/visa. They say it has resulted in a backlog of 8-12 weeks (which I verified further by chatting up a person at a motorcycle shop, yea it impacts everyone).

The way to circumvent this is by getting a letter from your country saying your passport is real. This is what the first person at the DMV recommended to me, but it wasn’t very definitive. I have my appointment this week. In the meantime I went back to the DMV and asked about the TRN. A different person verified the first persons recommendation and was more confident that if I get the letter it will only take a week.

I am in Cape Town (I venture Joberg has greater representation of embassies, so I’d be mindful of this). I made an appointment at the US consulate in CT. They had availability 9 days out, so this adds some time to the whole procedure, but it shouldn’t add much time since you are now forewarned. Americans can book this in advance on the web.

QED: this all still applies, but there is another layer. Best to make an appointment at your relevant embassy/consulate for the day you arrive here for a letter saying your passport is real. If choosing between starting in joberg or Cape Town, go with wherever you can easily get a letter verifying your passport is real.
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